RealTime IT News

World Online Teaches Online

CAPE TOWN -- Vodacom World Online South Africa (WoL), local version of the worldwide group of ISPs and portals, boasts that they now offer more than 500 courses online through their online academy.

The courses are divided into two areas, technical and end-user. Interestingly, users aren't charged per course. Instead, students subscribe for a period of time - a month, 6 months or a year- and to one or both of the study areas. They then have access to all course material in those areas.

Students who are customers of WoL's ISP service pay less for the courses, typically getting 20%-25% off the price for non-subscribers.

End user courses range from using software packages such as Microsoft Office and PowerPoint, to courses dealing with offline matters like Estate Planning and Mathematical Skills for business.

Technical courses on offer include MCSE, MOUS and A+, as well as development languages such as HTML, Java and Perl. WoL states in a release that their e-Learning service will allow students to potentially complete MCSE certification course for less than R500.

Odette Meredith, WoL Manager B2B and eCommerce, says, "As a member of the Microsoft Independent Course Vendor (ICV) program the [MCSE] courses conform to strict course development standards to ensure quality content and training."

Upon completion of the MCSE course, as an example, students will have the opportunity to write any of the formal exams associated with that specific course. Not all courses require exams.

Booze-Allan Hamilton, in a report highlighted in eMarketer, showed that in the US the greatest amount of time was devoted to portals (4 hours 35 minutes a month). 49% of that time was used on the portals gateway capacity.

In other words, users spend more time using portal services than leaving them to access other areas on the Net. Portals are transforming into destinations from gateways.

Destinations must attract users by offering unique value. This release highlights that realization within WoL: add value or watch click over to another portal.

Similarly, an ISP WoL's other hat- must differentiate itself from competitors in order to attract clientele. A portal offering with special deals for subscribers like lower tuition fees- is a good hook.